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Meet Alison Salas – ROAM’s 2020 Grand Prize Winner

The Wisconsin mom behind Instagram’s findingsalas values global experiences and family time.

By Liliia DeCos

This year, ROAM’s Best Family Travel Photo Contest, received an extraordinary number of entries from a diverse set of families and locations around the world.

Perhaps that’s why Alison Bowman-Salas photo “Bedtime in Morocco” moved us. Seeing a father reading a book to his daughter in a cozy room anywhere in the world made us all realize, once again, how precious the time is we spend as a family. And traveling really allows us to focus on each other and to value each other’s company.

 

This picture was taken in the “Blue Pearl” of Chefchaouen, Morocco while Salas were on their trip around the world.  (You can read more about the Salas family’s Moroccan adventure here on ROAM.) Alison says that although their days were spent in some of the world’s most picturesque and exciting locales, the night always came back to family.

“We spent more than a year taking a round-the-world trip. Although we ‘lived it up’ as much as possible, we also tried to have some structure and semblance of home for the sake of our kids (ok, maybe that was for the adults, too 😉 

Our daily ritual included the much beloved bedtime story. We brought some books with us, picked up more when available, and even made some attempts to learn the local language through children’s books, something that turned out to be a great introduction to area’s basic words for all of us. It ended up being a great equalizer for parents and kids: We were all learning to read together.” 

Based in Madison, Wisconsin, the Salas’s are an indigenous family who has seen the world. They just completed a year-long trip visiting almost 30 countries on 5 continents and documented it gorgeous-ly on their Instagram account, findingsalas. (See more from their trip in this teaser on their YouTube Channel).

 

Says Alison: “Children have such a unique way of bringing joy and that is such an incredible contribution to our travels, even in spite of the extra planning and concessions it takes to have them in tow. They have reminded us – sometimes to the point of delight – countless times, about how extraordinary the seemingly ordinary moments can be. Many times those moments take little effort, orchestration, or money. (Like catching my daughter checking out a loose tooth in a mirror in Italy.)

“Honestly, this trip was life changing. We were able to spend so much more time with our kids at a special time in their lives, plus actualize plans for living minimally so we could really value our experiences over things. This is something we dabbled with for years somewhat unsuccessfully, before actually seeing how freeing it was to have a small number things to manage and how much free time it leaves you to do the things you love with each other.”

Right now, the Salas are back in the U.S. with family but they plan to return to their full-time travelling life someday.

“We always dreamed about living abroad, at least for a period of time in our lives. We were thinking of it like a ‘study abroad’ for adults, but maybe with kids in tow. And then when we actually had kids, we kept traveling and really enjoyed the shift in focus. So when we decided to live abroad and prioritize our love for travel and family time, our problem was deciding where to do it! So we just kept moving and tried to get a sampling of places on this beautiful earth.” 

See more amazing shots from Alison’s family’s travels in the gallery below. (Rotate mobile to “landscape” to see complete photo and captions.)

 

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Liliia deCos  – February 2020

ROAM Contributing Editor   

 

Originally from Ukraine and now based in Spain, Liliia has traveled literally across the world with her husband Jose and their two young daughters. Follow their intrepid walkabouts at bring_baby_abroad and see Liliia’s amazing photos on Instagram at bring_baby_abroad or on ROAM where she won Best Family Photo of 2019

© ROAM Family Travel 2020 – All rights reserved

 

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